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Historic Cromford

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Trip at a Glance

  • Company

    Derbyshire Heritage Walks

  • Locations

    Cromford, England, United Kingdom

  • Activities

    Heritage-History Tour, Sightseeing

  • Price
    £9 GBP per person
  • Duration

    2.5 hours

  • Avg Distance

    2 miles

  • Starting Location

    Cromford Meadows, Cromford, Derbyshire


  • Explore one of the most historic sites of the Industrial Revolution and discover why Cromford has been called the birthplace of that momentous period.
  • Each tour is led by a guide with over 25 years experience of leading guided walks around the mill and village.
  • Accessible by public transport from Derby, Nottingham, Manchester and Sheffield, so ideal for those looking to minimise their environmental impact.


Trip Info

In 1771, inventor Richard Arkwright arrived in a small Derbyshire lead mining village, looking for somewhere to build his pioneering cotton mill. The mill he built in Cromford was the very first of its kind, and was where the basics of modern factory working were developed. Thanks to Arkwright’s pioneering work in Cromford, this once sleepy village has been called the true birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Widely copied by others, Cromford became the pattern for early mill and factory communities all across Europe and even North America.

This walking tour explores the history of Cromford, from the old medieval village to the modern day. Along the way, it looks at how the villagers lived before Arkwright arrived in the area, why Arkwright chose the village despite it being well away from the main market for his products, how the arrival of the mill changed the lives of the villagers, and much more.

Relatively untouched by modern developments, Cromford is a fine example of an early mill village, and now forms the main attraction in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. This tour is ideal for anyone interested in early industrial history, and finishes at the gates of the preserved Cromford Mill, where it is possible to take a tour of the mill with the guides of the Arkwright Society, who now own and maintain the site.

Normally taking place in the morning, for a small additional fee this tour can also be combined with a 5.5 mile afternoon walk along the surviving section of the Cromford Canal, which linked Cromford with the industrial and port cities of Liverpool and Manchester.

Your adventure awaits!

Derbyshire Heritage Walks

We provide full and half-day guided walks around Derbyshire and the beautiful Peak District National Park. We visit some of the county's most historic but little-known sites. Each tour is led by a guide who has over 30 years experience of leading guided walks and is an expert in the area's industrial and transport history.

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